Help for writers
(Cartoon from 'xkcd.com'. So true).
Start as you mean to carry on
If you only want to write a bit for your own enjoyment, then not a problem - it is quite right to treat it simply as a hobby, a recreational activity. But if you do ever hope to make some money from it (and it is surprisingly easy to pick up at least some pocket money), follow this link for some ideas on
writing as a business -
or click on the picture below instead.
"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot"
I would suggest the point of both the activities above is to hone your own style, rather than becoming a pale copy of someone else. You know what I mean here - a blockbuster comes out, and soon the world seems to be awash with similar books, just not as good as the original. When I started learning what has become my main instrument there was no shortage of helpful suggestions as to who's style I should aim to copy. Wasn't interested. It was much more fun to experiment for myself and see how it all came out.
Stephen's own book, 'On Writing' is a pretty good place to go for some technical advice, especially the 'Toolbox' section.
Fortunately, writers tend to be wordy little buggers, always happy to churn out a missive or three at the drop of a hat. There are quite a few groups and forums around for you to graze in. Again, here is a good place to start:
"A wealth of writing-related goodies (author interviews, spotlights, guest blogs, flash fiction, podcast, info. and more)
What can/should you write about?
Some thoughts from the great and the good. No point in me attempting to add anything.
"An author should write about what he knows and write truthfully"
"I didn't write what I wanted, but what I needed to write at that moment."
"The only excuse which I have yet discovered for writing anything is that I want to write it; and I should be as proud to be delivered of a Telephone Directory con amore as I should be ashamed to create a Blank Verse Tragedy at the bidding of others."
On one occasion, I had been very distracted. My wife was giving birth to our second daughter by caesarean section, not a common occurrence in those days, and I was very worried about her. On that Thursday, when I went into his office I had no ideas in my head. I told him I had been very distracted due to personal circumstances and said that I really needed a little bit of help. I asked if we could go around a few ideas. He lowered his paper slowly, fixed me with a stony eye and said --- "You’re supposed to be an author aren’t you?" I started to mumble an apology but he broke in --- "Well f*** off and auth" and raised his paper.
Ebooks - friend or foe?
See the above for an article on ebooks, some general bits of advice and a link to a free ebook.
'Creating Ebooks' - free guide
Written by an author and publisher, so well worth a read before you commit pen to paper, or digit to keyboard. All yours for a whopping 99 cents - not much more than the cost of a first-class stamp!
And don't forget...
To read the article mentioned at the top of the page -
to pick up more information on how to run a business,